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Prawn Vessel

Pacific Prawn
Fishermen's Association


May 1st, 2019


MAY 9th - Season Opening


Getting Ready...

A letter from the EDitor

Dear PPFA Members and Supporters,

As vessel operators and crews prepare for the upcoming season there is plenty going on behind the scenes with the PPFA.

The PPFA continues to work on a number of initiatives including upcoming CFIA regulations, Northern Shelf Bioregion marine planning, Southern Resident Killer Whale restrictions, Marine Mammal Protection Act, preparation for Bill C-68, ghost gear initiatives, and many more.

This month we are rolling out a new PPFA logo, and are working on building a new website. Mike and Dennis will be attending a Wild BC Seafood Reception, organized by the BC Seafood Alliance, with more than 50 government representatives and MLAs confirmed to attend. This will be an excellent opportunity to discuss the successes and challenges facing the Commercial Prawn Industry.

We continue to strive for increased communications with the fleet and encourage members to be involved to ensure the sustainable and prosperous future of the industry.

On behalf of the PPFA, I wish everyone a successful and lucrative season.

Mike Atkins
Executive Director


Held April 1st in Nanaimo

The PPFA received excellent feedback on the 2019 AGM held April 1st in Nanaimo. Attendees were pleased with the format and the presentations provided by our many guest speakers.

The AGM was attended by industry participants, processors and other guests. As the word gets out we hope that attendance continues to grow for future AGM's.
         This year's agenda included
         presentations from:
  • BC Seafood Alliance
  • DFO Science and Management
  • JO Thomas
  • WorkSafeBC
  • Fish Safe
  • The MPT (Marine Planning Team)
  • Chris Harvey (PPFA lawyer)
2019 was an election year for the Board of Directors.
The PPFA would like to thank the continuing and outgoing directors for their volunteer service for the betterment of the fishery. We would also like to welcome the new directors and look forward to their participation and input moving forward.
Paul Bevandick
Stewart MacDonald

Graham Millicheap
Doug Perfitt
Pat Cullen (President)
Brent Adams
Bob Alford
Dane Chauvel
Neil Main
Chris Marshman
John Millicheap
Mike Roh

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations

New CFIA regulations for 2020

New CFIA regulations came into place on January 15th, 2019 that impact all prawn vessels that dip and freeze prawns at sea. All vessels must be in compliance with these new regulations by next season (2020).

The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) require that vessels prepare, keep, maintain and implement a written preventive control plan (PCP) to demonstrate how hazards and risks to food are addressed. Vessel operators will also need to apply for a CFIA licence to register their vessel as a licenced facility, and may be subject to CFIA inspections.

On April 23, 2019 the PPFA hosted a round-table meeting in Nanaimo with industry, CFIA, the BC Seafood Alliance and most major processors in BC to develop a plan to prepare the fleet for compliance. The PPFA will be working closely with a consultant and stakeholders to develop an approved template to be distributed to the fleet. Vessel operators will need to work with their processors to tailor the document to fit the procedures aboard their vessel, and to develop a record keeping strategy to maintain compliance.
More information on the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations can be found at:
All vessel operators will need to apply for an SFC licence.
To do so they must register on MyCFIA
Glass Sponge

2019 Regulations and IFMP

Summary of important commercial regulations

Here is a list of important 2019/20 Prawn by Trap Regulations. Please refer to the IFMP for a full list of closures, important contacts, the full regulations, information on First Nations FSC licensing and fishing, historic fishery data, and other useful information.

Trap limits are reduced in the following Special Management Areas (SMAs): Howe Sound and Indian Arm (Subareas 28-1 to 28-5 and Subareas 28-11 to 28-14), Salmon and Sechelt Inlets (Subareas 16-5 to 16-8), Alberni Inlet (Subareas 23-1 to 23-3), and Saanich Inlet (Subareas 19-7 to 19-12). Individual W/FW licences are permitted to fish 150 traps on three groundlines. The remaining traps must be fished outside the SMAs.

Web or soft mesh traps shall be covered with a single layer of mesh. The mesh shall measure a minimum of 38.1 millimetres (1 1/2 inch).
Wire mesh traps must have four opposing tunnels constructed of an unobstructed rigid square mesh material having a minimum dimension (after dip coating) that will allow the passage of a 22.2 millimetre (7/8 inch) square peg through the mesh without altering the shape of the mesh opening.

All prawn traps shall contain a biodegradable escape mechanism (rot cord) to allow bycatch to escape in the event traps are lost.
Web and soft mesh traps shall contain an opening equal to or exceeding 30 cm in length. The opening shall be within 15 cm of the bottom of the trap and parallel with the bottom frame. The opening shall be laced, sewn, or otherwise secured by a single strand of no greater than #30 untreated cotton twine. The cotton twine shall be knotted at each end only. The twine shall not be tied or looped around the frame of the trap.
Wire or hard mesh traps shall have a biodegradable (“rot”) panel. The rot panel shall consist of a section in a trap side wall that has been laced, sewn, or otherwise secured by a single strand of no greater than #30 untreated cotton twine, such that the entire panel remains under tension when the panel is intact but on deterioration or parting produces an unrestricted opening. The opening shall exceed a square 11cm by 11cm.

Prawn and shrimp trap gear must be marked at both ends of the groundlines by 127 centimetre (50 inch) circumference or larger, red, or orange buoys or by 10 centimetre diameter x 122 centimetre (4 inch x 48 inch) white PVC pipe weighted at one end and painted orange at the other. The latter has been recommended by industry representatives for use in areas of frequent boat traffic.
The commercial fishing vessel registration number (VRN) and the letters PRN or PRNS, must be painted or otherwise affixed to each buoy such that it is visible at all times without raising the gear from the water. PRN will signify gear being fished from a vessel holding a W or FW licence with an allotment of 300 traps. PRNS is required to identify gear for those vessels fishing a W or FW licence with an allotment of 500 traps. The VRN shall be in solid black Arabic numerals, without ornamentation. Numbers and characters shall not be less than 75 millimetres in height. Improperly marked gear may be removed from the water.

All vessels are required to have a fully operational DFO-approved VMS and to report the geographic position (latitude and longitude) of the vessel, date and time corresponding to this position, and Communication Service Provider identifier for the VMS unit. This information shall be reported automatically to the DFO Vessel Monitoring Operations Centre (Newfoundland) every 15 minutes throughout the season, from the time the vessel leaves port for the first fishing trip until it returns to port and all catch on board the vessel is offloaded after its last fishing trip.
Minimum legal size limit for prawns is 33 mm carapace length

For headed prawns is 22 millimetres telson length

Undersized and berried females must be released on a trap-by-trap basis, waiting until the entire string is pulled before sorting is illegal. Prawns may not be kept in a tank or bucket for later sorting and release.

The maximum allowable length of groundline between each buoy line is two skates (1,100 metres or 3,600 feet).

No web or soft mesh trap with a volume greater than 170 litres is permitted. No wire or hard mesh trap with a volume greater than 100 litres is permitted except those traps constructed with the bottom and all sides with a mesh that will pass a 22.2 millimetre square peg, which may have a volume no greater than 170 litres.

The vessel master is responsible for the provision and maintenance of an accurate record, a “log” of daily harvest operations.

In-season, a W or FW licensed vessel may not carry, set or recover tagged traps for another W or FW licensed vessel.

Reporting all interactions with marine mammals to the Marine Mammal Incident Hotline 1-800-465-4336 is mandatory during all commercial fishing trips.

Here is a link to the 2019 Prawn by Trap Integrated Fisheries Management Plan:

FACTAP Funding

Fisheries and Aquaculture Clean Technology Adoption Program

The PPFA wants to remind all vessel owners/operators of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Clean Technology Adoption Program, which is a national contribution program investing $20 million over 4 years (2017 to 2021) to assist Canada’s fisheries and aquaculture industries in improving their environmental performance.

DFO will provide up to 75% towards off-the-shelf technologies for fisheries and aquaculture industries to reduce the potential environmental impacts of their activities. This is done by implementing clean technologies and measures.
More information on FACTAP can be found here:      

Examples of potential projects:
- Engine replacements with a newer more fuel efficient engine
- Bilge Cleaners
- New sounding technology to reduce fuel used to find fishing locations and increase catch efficiency (eg. DFF-3D)

Information on the DFF-3D:
Nobeltec Pro with the Furuno DFF-3D

Prawn Enforcement Summary

2018 Fisheries Conservation and Protection Program Statistics

26   Dedicated Patrols
34   Vessels Checked
120 Persons Checked
444 Gear Checked
22   Violations
5     Plant/Rest. Inspections
65    Dedicated Patrols
142  Vessels Checked
354  Persons Checked
294  Gear Checked
59    Violations
11    Plant/Rest. Checks
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone involved or interested in the Commercial Prawn Fishery.

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Pacific Prawn Fishermen's Assoc. · 2174 Sun Valley Dr. · Nanaimo, BC V9T 6K6 · Canada

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